Feeling Stressed Out? Find Out How CBD Can Help With Stress
Stress is an inevitable part of life, and we all feel it at one time or another. The image above shows how global or national events cause stress.
But let’s not forget that stress is also caused by mundane incidents like exams and public speaking.
Thanks to continuous medical research, you can manage stress better with CBD or cannabidiol. It’s a substance found in hemp plants that can be taken orally, topically, or inhaled to relieve stress without getting intoxicated.
In this post, we explore what stress is and if it can be lessened with CBD. Read on to learn more!
What is Stress?
Stress is a physical and mental reaction when you suddenly find yourself in the presence of danger or unexpected situations or situations you’re not prepared to handle.
Short-term stress occurs before exams or a presentation or an interview. The tell-tale signs are sweaty palms, stammering, racing to complete the paper on time, etc.
Signs of stress include:
- Rapid heart rate
- Heavy breathing
- Losing appetite
- Blood pressure increase
When you start to feel stress every day, it becomes long-term and turns into chronic anxiety. You fret about everything that goes on in your life and your surroundings.
Stress makes you mentally more alert as you try to figure out how the source of danger is behaving. You start to think about ways to either fight the danger or escape from it.
Thus, you’re always thinking and never letting your mind stay still and be calm.
The Effects of Stress
Cortisol and adrenaline are the two hormones triggered by stress. If you get stressed too often, these hormones can bring on long-term mental and physical conditions. Examples are:
- Higher blood pressure increases the risk of heart diseases
- Stomach, head, and neck aches from stressed muscles
- Shortness of breath
- Premature aging
- A weakened immune system makes you more vulnerable to diseases
- Obesity from overeating or losing weight from not eating enough
- Emotional and psychological conditions from being unhappy and irritated leading to broken relationships and substance abuse
- Digestive problems
- Sleeping disorders
What is CBD?
CBD or cannabidiol is one of the cannabinoids from the Cannabis Sativa plant. Both hemp and marijuana plants fall in this category.
Another compound in the plant is THC or tetrahydrocannabinol. This compound is responsible for giving a “high” to those who consume it.
THC is present in much lower amounts in hemp than in the cannabis plant. That’s why most CBD gummies and other products are derived from the hemp plant. These are not meant to get you “high” on but are used for medicinal purposes.
What are the Types of CBD?
CBD comes in three types: full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and isolate.
CBD isolate is the purest form of CBD that contains nothing else.
Broad-spectrum CBD contains over 540 chemical compounds of the cannabis plant except for THC.
Full-spectrum CBD contains all the cannabis plant components and some trace of THC. Federal laws state that the full-spectrum CBD should contain less than 0.3% THC.
Avoid the full-spectrum CBD if you don’t want to get intoxicated.
How Can CBD Help with Stress?
Our body contains many receptors. These are chemical structures made from protein that receive all stimuli.
When CBD is released in our system, it attaches itself to the CB1 and CB2 receptors in the central and peripheral nervous systems. This causes a change in the serotonin level in our body.
Serotonin is the hormone responsible for our mood, behavior, feelings of wellness, and happiness. People with low serotonin levels experience depression and anxiety. So, when we take CBD, serotonin secretion is triggered and our stress level is reduced.
CBD also helps those with anxiety-related conditions like social anxiety disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and insomnia from stress. Thus, CBD reacts with our nervous system and brain to release serotonin to calm us down.
What is the Right CBD Dosage?
Research is ongoing, and there are no conclusive remarks about the exact dosage of CBD that helps reduce stress.
However, studies showed that an oral administration of 300mg of CBD to male subjects 90 minutes before a simulated public speaking test reduced their anxiety.
Two control groups were given 600 mg and 150 mg each. Neither showed any significant anxiety reduction.
Taking a CBD capsule or tincture one to two times daily helps bring calm to your mind and body. You can add it to your daily tea or coffee.
A 2011 study showed that 400mg of CBD given to subjects with SAD or social anxiety disorder resulted in a decreased stress level.
For post-trauma stress disorder patients, CBD is recommended by physicians as a supplement or a stand-alone medication. Such patients have lower incidents of nightmares and recurring negative memories.
Types of CBD Products
CBD can be found in a few forms. You can choose any one of them to suit your needs.
1. CBD Topical Treatments
Topical solutions like creams, lotions, ointments, balms, and oils with CBD help to target the source of pain and bring quick relief by applying it directly to the affected areas.
Stress makes your muscles tight from anxiety, causing pain in the limbs, neck, shoulder, and head.
A massage with CBD oils can relieve tension, stress, and pain. A carrier oil like lavender or peppermint oil is mixed with CBD to make a CBD massage oil.
2. CBD Edibles
CBD tinctures are made by combining CBD with MCT (medium-chain triglycerides) oils. MCT oils are made from coconut or palm kernel oil.
MCT oils have smaller molecules and are, therefore, easily absorbed in our system. Therefore, when it’s mixed with CBD, it speeds up the stress-relieving process.
The CBD tinctures may have flavors added to them. The unflavored version of CBD oils is available in capsules and gummies that are taken orally.
CBD edibles begin to take effect within 30 minutes to two hours of ingestion.
3. CBD Bath Bombs
After a long day of stressful work, we often relax by taking a long, hot bath. This dilates our blood vessels that help our muscles relax.
If you add CBD bath bombs to the tub water, the sense of calm and relaxation will be enhanced. This will automatically take all the stress and tension away from your body.
CBD bath bombs carry 100mg of CBD and are combined with stress-busting herbal oils like lavender, mint, or eucalyptus to produce greater soothing effects.
4. CBD Vape Juices
What are the Side-Effects of CBD?
Research on CBD is conducted at a limited scale because of legal issues, and hence, there isn’t concrete evidence of the long-term effects of ingesting CBD.
However, some research has revealed the following side-effects of CBD:
- Weight changes
- Appetite loss
- Weakness and fatigue
Is CBD Safe?
It’s good to remember that the US Food And Drug Administration (FDA) body does not authorize the use of CBD to treat patients with chronic anxiety and stress-related mental and physical conditions.
Since there’s a lack of regulation from the FDA, you are advised to use CBD with caution. If you’re on prescription drugs or supplements, you should consult your physician before taking CBD products.
The quality of CBD products varies from one manufacturer to another as the industry is not regulated. Therefore, choose only reputed manufactures and sources for buying CBD products.
If you’re taking blood thinners, get your physician’s advice before picking up a CBD product. CBD interferes with the efficacy of blood thinners and certain supplements.
Is CBD Legal?
CBD extracted from the hemp plant containing less than 0.3% of THC is legal federally, but many states in the US still consider it illegal.
CBD products from the cannabis plant are legal under some state laws but federally illegal.
So, when traveling across states, always check the legality of CBD products if you’re carrying them.
How to Buy CBD
Some states in the US allow CBD products to be sold when the customer produces a prescription for epilepsy medication. In that case, you may need to get a license from your physician.
In other states where CBD is legal, you can buy it from cannabis stores or online.
Stress is a part of our lives no matter where we live in the world.
There’s no way to measure the intensity of stress, and what might be normal for someone may cause severe anxiety in someone else.
More research is needed on the effect of CBD on stress and other medical conditions in humans.
With CBD slowly gaining legal status in some states, hopefully, the day is not far when everyone can benefit from its medicinal properties and use it to relieve stress.